12-year-old offered money for nude photos in Colorado Springs, mother issues warning

Published: Jan. 9, 2020 at 11:36 PM MST
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A child, on a popular social media app, offered money to send nude photos

A mom in Colorado Springs has a warning for anyone who has a kid at home with a phone.

“I know it is out there, but you never expect it to happen to you.”

That mother asked to remain anonymous but said her daughter received an offer to send pictures of her privates and said this is not the first time.

There's no open police report yet, but officers told me any offer like that is clearly illegal.

The message came from a made-up user-name that is also too crude to show.

"It is very frustrating because I feel like they are getting away with it.

She has taught her daughter how to block and report users and tried to teach hear some standard safety rules online, but the messages keep coming.

Licensed Clinical Social Worker Susanna Prensner explained there are some things kids and teens simply don't know how to deal with appropriately. Access to anyone on social media presents an almost certain recipe for disaster.

"Our kids are exposed to daily viewing images that are sexually explicit," Prensner said.

"They come in from messaging box on Snapchat and Instagram...there’s no way to stop it. There’s no way to monitor it unless a parent is full-on monitoring it face to face.

Prensner suggests parents sit down and have a difficult conversation with their children who have cell phones.

"Maintain a relationship with your child. Kids struggle to share this information because it is so personal. It's so intimate, and it's embarrassing."

"It’s embarrassing for them and for you as parents but if we don’t start talking about it, the culture will not change.”

Prensner said there are five steps to help make sure that your children are safe from these predators.

1. Put monitoring devices on all electronic devices.

2. Educate yourself – make yourself aware of what is going on on different platforms that are out there.

3. Discuss with your child what you have discovered in research – begin open conversations with your child about the “reality of today.”

4. Decide who controls the electronic devices – you? Or your child?

5. Create a contract with one specific rule—to keep everything said online “PG-13.”

She also suggested phone monitoring apps like Qustodio, which parents can use after installing it on a kid's phone which allows them to monitor which apps the kid uses and for how long while still allowing them some privacy.